Darlinghurst Nights

A boy in Surry Hills

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At almost sixty, he’s scarcely a boy anymore. But he’s loose on the streets of Sydney, Devonshire and Riley Streets, Surry Hills, to be exact, and ready to smile his way into your heart.

It’s Osamu Tezuka’s original manga character Astro Boy. And he’s on the wall of Orson & Blake. Who knows what he’s doing?

You can say no to sourdough

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Sourdough has ruled our postcode for too long. While the development known as The Village Centre, encompassing Llankelly Place and Springfield Mall, has taken its sweet time finding tenants to occupy its lots, it now seems the dough is about to change.

Stopping for coffee at one of no less than five coffee spots, down on Llankelly Place earlier this week, I noticed a new bakery had moved in just down from the Bamboo dumpling place. It is simply called The Italian Bakery, and opened just over a week ago.

Just opposite is a little Greek patisserie-cum-coffee shop.

And the space that was vacated after “Elk” bar fizzled some time ago, has signage adorning the outer walls that Luneburger German Bakery is about to open.

With the abundance of French cafes and patisseries dotted through the area, it seems European bakeries are what we want.

Now how about a Bosnian Burek bar fitting in somewhere too?

Put a sock on it

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There are two bollards in the St Vincent’s Hospital carpark on Burton Street, Darlinghurst. One is covered in a sock.

Pat Armstrong, who spotted the single sock covered bollard, said: “Well, that’s one way to get rid of an old sock.”

It’s clearly seen better days. Is a sock restretching service? The sock afterlife? Hiding something?

Daylight robbery


A local witnessed this burglary next to the Hopetoun in Surry Hills.

Alex Wain spotted it yesterday (see more of his gorgeous photos here).

What better way to start Jan 1st 2011, than with some photos from my ‘hood.

Even photographed a burglary taking place.

It’s not often we get such witty street art in the neighbourhood at the moment. Anyone know who’s responsible?

By ml. January 2, 2011

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Glue splashed walls

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This rat is riding a shopping trolley on a red wall on Llankelly Place, Potts Point.

A lot of glue has been spilled on walls since we last walked through.

It’s been quiet on the street art front lately. But there’s a wild amount of development happening on Llankelly Place at the moment, it seems like every second shop is a new cafe. End result, a heightened graffiti scene?

These paste ups by Loom have a heavy sea shanty vibe. Ink fading and dog-eared, despite being new, which seems appropriate to the subject. A bearded old man of the sea, a kindly Neptune?

And a lean pirate, twitchy for his next target.

On the other hand, here’s a robot and another wise old man.

It’s really interesting on Llankelly Place at the moment. A lot of development, but still a lot of empty retail space. We were impressed when it first reappeared, but it’s taken a while to pick up.

By ml. December 30, 2010

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Dressing up the walls

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There’s a big bold line between the displays in the shops around our neighbourhood, and the by the cover of dark displays on the walls, but it’s getting blurry. And Goulburn Street, Surry Hills, is a prime location.

That’s a collaboration between Houl and Scriblapossibly called ‘Chopper Kurt De Niro: It hurts…’

We’ve seen great work around the corner on Arnold Street in the past. Beastman’s gone now, though. Now it’s another piece: ‘Chasing Love’. This time by a couple of Melbourne artists, MaxCat (aka Justin Feuerring) and Miss Riz.

On the other side of Goulburn Street, Cafe Lounge has a beautifully abstract wall, signed ‘S.H.’ I don’t know any more about that one.

With the Record Store on one side of the street and Cafe Lounge on the other, it makes for a bright, regularly changing street. Obviously it’s good marketing. But it makes a real addition to the streetscape, too. You get the sense they’re part of the neighbourhood, and that’s a good thing.

Sad old sun

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This customised street mirror is on Wisdom Lane, Darlinghurst. It’s a side street that’s really barely used since the Eastern Distributor went through. So I guess there’s not much need for a 180 degree mirror.

It looks like a sad old sun to us. There’s something Duchamp about it, too, with the assemblage of mirror and coat hanger. It was spotted by one of our readers.

By ml. December 17, 2010

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Is it the season to get married?

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There is a series of wedding proposal street stencils along Womerah Avenue, just outside Darlinghurst public school.

The stencils are a little blurry at first, you might miss just one, but they keep coming. One after the other. You get an insight into the proposer: cute, into street art, fairly persistent.

Do you know Laura? Was the proposal a success?

Eternity or oblivion

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Signs saying ‘Oblivion’ have appeared all over the neighbourhood – @nellgreco spotted this one on the corner of Campbell and Smith Streets, Surry Hills, as she walked home.

It’s obviously a take on the chalked signs Arthur Stace used to scribble out saying ‘Eternity’ – but why and who remain a mystery. Reference to the state government’s electoral hopes? New band? Buckminster Fuller graffiti?

We even had an email from Barry Divola, asking if we knew who was behind it.

I thought it might be a pessimistic 21st century response to Arthur Stace’s “Eternity”. I’m hoping that it is, anyway, and not just some guerilla marketing campaign for some new product or fashion company.

We thought it might be another bit of guerrilla advertising, but so far we’re none the wiser. Any ideas?

Street art or guerrilla advertising: update

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Photocopied four-ups like this have been popping up all around the neighbourhood. This time it’s Crown Street, Surry Hills.

We thought they were some kind of guerrilla advertising for the tobacco industry – all the ones we’d seen had cigarettes.

Turns out this one doesn’t. Thanks for noticing, @poisontofu.

By ml. November 19, 2010

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